Saturday, 28 March 2020

The First T-80

The T-70 tank, developed as a continuation of the T-60, had a large number of drawbacks, especially compared to the T-50 that was supposed to become the Red Army's main tank according to pre-war plans. Nevertheless, the T-70 evolved in two directions. A small modernization led to the T-70B. A more thorough modernization led to the T-80, the last Soviet wartime light tank that was put into mass production.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Perfidious Albion

"People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs
10th Department
Outgoing #4490
Received: 18:00 September 20th, 1942
Sent: 19:20 September 20th, 1942

Top Secret, copies forbidden
Specialist number: 896

To: London, Soviet envoy

Special
Top priority

To Mayskiy. You acted like a coward in your conversation with Eden about the Aerocobras.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Kursk Experience

"70th Army HQ
August 25th, 1943
#4025569
Active army

To the Chief of Staff of the Central Front

I attach summary #1 of the experience of the combat units and formations of the 70th Army in the offensive and defensive battles in July-August of 1943.
Attachment: the aforementioned on one sheet.

Deputy Chief of Staff of the 70th Army, Colonel Abayev

Summary #1

Experience of the combat units and formations of the 70th Army in the offensive and defensive battles in July-August of 1943.
  1. Signals detachments of army units laid telegraph and telephone cable to rifle regiment HQ level. This allowed timely installation of telegraph and telephone cables to connect units, formations, and their neighbours. In the practice preceding combat this was never done.
    The losses in personnel while performing this task were insignificant. The laying of cables proved itself.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Counteroffensive

"To the Commander of the South-Western Direction, Marshal of the Soviet Union, comrade Timoshenko
September 16th, 1941

I direct to you materials written by brigade commander comrade Ivanov

Member of the Military Council of the South Front, Army Commissar 1st Class, Zaporozhets"

"Ideas about the upset of further offensive of fascist forces
Maps: 2,500,000 and 1,000,000

Mistakes and weaknesses of the fascists

The enemy still considers our army to be clumsy, unable to make bold moves, unable to use trickery and deceit in operational maneuvers. He relies on our passivity and simplicity. Because of this, the fascist commanders allow:

Monday, 23 March 2020

HEAT and APCR

"USSR NKO
Main Artillery Directorate of the Red Army #11794s
ArtKom
December 18th, 1943
#800360s

To commanders of Fronts and Armies
Copy for Leningrad Front only
RE: using subcaliber and armour burning (HEAT) ammunition

With the goal of increasing the effectiveness of artillery against modern enemy tanks, the Main Artillery Directorate produces and supplies the following new types of ammunition:
  • 45 mm, 57 mm, and 76 mm subcaliber AP-tracer shot with a tungsten core
  • 76 and 122 mm armour burning (HEAT) shells with a powerful explosive charge
Subcaliber shot penetrated armour with a pointed tungsten core and is most effective at close tactical ranges as due to the shape and light weight it quickly loses speed, and therefore penetrative power.

HEAT shells penetrate the armour via a directed explosion and allow the use of guns with low muzzle velocity as effective anti-tank weapons. The effectiveness of these shells remains at long ranges.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

In Search of an Ideal Weapon

The poor results of the Heavy Tank M6 program led to a lethargy in American heavy tank development by the first half of 1944. The success of American medium tanks in North Africa led the American military to believe that they will not need heavy tanks. The summer of 1944 in Normandy proved sobering. It turned out that the Germans had new types of heavy tanks that were a tough nut to crack for American tanks and tank destroyers. As a result, development of several new heavy tanks was expedited in late July of 1944. The Heavy Tank T30 was one of them.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

"T-34-57"

Out of the many resilient myths that surround the T-34 tank, there are several that revolve around the rarest one of them all: the T-34 tank armed with the 57 mm ZIS-4 gun, specifically the four experimental tanks produced in 1943. Many sources give these tanks and their guns some kind of made up name like T-34-57 or ZIS-4M and claim that these tanks fought in "special tank company #100" from August 15th, 1943. All three of those claims are false.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Sherman Driver

"Award Order
  1. Name: Nikolai Dmitrievich Volnistiy
  2. Rank: Senior Sergeant
  3. Position, unit: mechanic-driver, 53rd Tank Regiment, 69th Mechanized Rifle Brigade, 9th Mechanized Corps
    is nominated for the state award of the Order of the Red Star.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Many Faces of the T-26

"Condition of SPGs and artillery systems on the T-26 chassis

T-26-8: 37 mm AA gun on the T-26 chassis.

According to instructions from the NKSM and tactical-technical requirements developed by the 20th department of the GAU, an experimental prototype of a 37 mm AA gun on the T-26 tank chassis was developed in July and tested.
Trials gave a positive result. Presently blueprints are being developed that include improvements requested by the ANIOP. Production of two prototypes to send to the front is being finished.
Final work on blueprints for mass production will conclude on August 25th, 1941.

Monday, 16 March 2020

T-34 Improvements

"Decree #1873ss of the State Committee of Defense
June 5th, 1942

On improvement of the T-34 tank

The State Committee of Defense decrees that the T-34 tank, having sufficient armour for a medium tank (45 mm), good power to weight ratio (18.2 hp/ton), needs improvements in gearbox mechanisms and vision. The most important task of the People's Commissariat of Tank Production and directors of tank factories that produce the T-34 is the rapid development of improved gearbox mechanisms and vision devices.